Cornish broadband provider Wildanet is expanding its network bringing high speed, reliable broadband to communities and businesses throughout Cornwall. Their solid connectivity has helped sculpt online business for established potter and artist Jennie Hale
Jennie Hale is a potter and wildlife artist based near Colliford Lake on Bodmin Moor. It was in 2017 that she and her husband sold their cottage and made the move across the border to Cornwall, a decision driven by her wish to have wildlife and a natural environment just outside her front door.
Now in her custom-built workshop, Jennie can go out into the natural world most days to get inspiration and drawings for her art pieces, which over the last thirty years have attracted a growing following and have been exhibited and sold in galleries all over the country and across the world.
While she sees it as more of a vocation than a business, Jennie still sees the need to be business-like. However, living in a remote area such as Colliford Lake, meant that for years her internet simply wasn’t up to the standard required for the work she needed to do.
“Before Wildanet, our internet was really terrible. It was so slow that one time I tried to send some images to a gallery for seven hours and it didn’t work. I felt like crying,” said Jennie, who found herself in the position of having to drive to friends’ houses nearby to do simple online tasks which interrupted her creative flow.
“That’s all very well but it’s not a way to run a business,” she added.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, connectivity through the internet became more important than ever for Jennie as galleries closed and moved their businesses online. Having had to build an online shop as well as an Instagram and a Twitter for her own business, Jennie also faced issues in carrying out her role as Chairman of Cornwall Ceramics and Glass.
“We couldn’t have meetings, we couldn’t offer anything to our members. So, I thought we could do Zoom demonstrations,” she said. But the first Zoom lecture saw Jennie having to drive to a friend’s house to make use of their internet.
When the pandemic was over, Jennie held an open studio but was unable to take card payments using her old provider’s internet if the weather was even slightly windy.
“People would say give me an invoice and I’ll pay you by BACS when I get home. It was embarrassing and awkward for everyone involved. I’m then handing off things that might be several hundred pounds without payment.”
It was then that Jennie heard about Wildanet through a contact at Cornwall Council.
“In the past when I said my broadband was terrible, people would say ‘well, what do you expect if you live out here?’. You’re hardly going to move, it’s not a solution to move nearer to a town.”
“Before Wildanet, I had so many engineers from other providers trying to find the fault in the line. It would get fixed but would only stay fixed until the next time it rained.”
“Wildanet was the only provider that was willing to come out here and they were just fantastic. The installation process was painless. They came in, I chatted to them, and they just got on with it while I was working.”
Having Wildanet’s connectivity meant Jennie suddenly had an online presence that was easy to maintain. She could now hold Zoom lectures from the comfort of her own home, send high resolution images to galleries at short notice, write email newsletters and take payments on her card machine.
“I cannot believe the difference, honestly, I cannot believe it. My whole business is very laden on imagery so having good connectivity is very, very important,” she said of the transformative power having solid, reliable internet has had on her business.
“Wildanet are really great to deal with, they always inform you and they’ll tell you who the Wildanet engineers are that are coming out.”
“I have recommended Wildanet because I have friends that teach online, and they have had iffy broadband before. They’ve now got Wildanet and it’s ideal if you live in a rural area where the other providers are reluctant to put in that infrastructure.”
If you or your business need help and support with digital connectivity, Wildanet has a range of options and innovative solutions available to help.
Speak to the team on 0800 0699906 or visit www.wildanet.com/business